Monteverdi, 1610: Vespers to Usher in the Baroque

By James R. Oestreich [NY Times, 21 January 2010]
As Monteverdi’s magnificent 1610 Vespers gathers momentum in its inexorable march through a big anniversary year, it quickly becomes evident that comparisons, however odious, are inevitable. This vast canvas from the dawn of the Baroque — formally, the “Vespro Della Beata Vergine” (“Vespers of the Blessed Virgin”) — offers such a rich ground for competing scholarly views and conjecture that performances differ radically, one shedding light on another.